Quilt or Innocence
A Southern Quilting Mystery
Published by New American Library
A Division of The Penguin Group
Beatrice Coleman has retired and moved to Dappled Hills, North Carolina to be close to her daughter. She had worked as a folk art curator and knows everything there is to know about valuing and displaying quilts. But she has never made a quilt herself and never really planned on ever making one.
Quilting is a big thing in Dappled Hills, in fact Beatrice’s new home is right next to the Village Quilters guild president Meadow Downey. Meadow insists Beatrice join the guild. She doesn’t even have time to get settled before Meadow is dragging her to a guild meeting. It is there that she meets Posy, the owner of Posy’s Patchwork Cottage and learns about Judith, the landlord everyone loves to hate. She wants to raise Posy’s rent and if Posy does want to pay she will just find a new tenant.
When Judith is found dead there certainly isn’t a shortage of suspects. Beatrice may be able to use her fine attention to detail to help figure out who killed Judith. Hopefully before someone else gets pinned permanently.
Quilters are passionate people, extremely passionate about quilting and they want to share their joys with everyone. I know because before my accident I was a very passionate quilter. I loved going shopping for fabric. I love the smell of a fabric store and rubbing the material between my fingers. Finding the perfect combination of fabrics and deciding on the pattern. The creative part, the construction, the quilting and completing the project can give you a personal high. It’s addictive. I understand completely.
That’s why I actually felt sorry for Beatrice. She was ambushed by a group of crazy quilters who expected just because she knew about quilts she would want to make not just one but many quilts. They pushed and pushed, trying to get her to be just like them. They expected her to make a block for a group quilt when she had never picked up a needle. They thought she would be bored unless she was involved in everything happening around town. I found myself really not liking these characters through most of the story. I wanted to jump into the pages and defend Beatrice. Slow down, she hasn’t even finished unpacking.
As the story evolved there was one character that saved the entire story for me. Yes, she is quirky, opinionated and she will definitely keep you guessing whether she is all there or not, but circumstances threw her and Beatrice together and she took the time to get to know Beatrice and let Beatrice do things in her own time frame.
The who-dun-it played out really well as Beatrice used her analytical skills to see things in strangers that long time residents completely missed. It’s always those little things that trip a criminal up. Beatrice was on the spot to blow the whistle on the murderer.
I am looking forward to the next book in the series and getting to know the characters and Dappled Hills better. Hopefully Beatrice will be more settled before the next tragedy strikes and she has had a little time to adjust to her new life. Dappled Hills may be small but with this cast of characters I am sure it will never be boring.
About This Author
Elizabeth writes the Memphis Barbeque series for Penguin/Berkley (as Riley Adams), the Southern Quilting mysteries (2012) for Penguin/NAL, and the Myrtle Clover series for Midnight Ink. She blogs daily at Mystery Writing is Murder, which was named by Writer’s Digest as one of the 101 Best Websites for Writers for 2010, 2011, and 2012.
Elizabeth is active in the online writing community. She shares writing-related links on Twitter as @elizabethscraig and posts on craft and the publishing industry on her blog, Mystery Writing is Murder.
She and Mike Fleming of Hiveword also manage the Writer’s Knowledge Base–a free search engine to help writers find resources. As the mother of two, Elizabeth writes on the run as she juggles volunteering, referees play dates, drives carpools, and is dragged along as a hostage/chaperone on field trips.
You can find out more about Elizabeth and her books here.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”